Jussie Smollett is best known for playing Jamal Lyon on the Fox show Empire, which began airing back in 2015. Though it seems as if he just recently got his big break, he has been working hard for many years now.
From his big family to speaking out about his sexuality, here are five fast facts about Jussie Smollett that you may not already know.
Believe it or not, Jussie is one of six children and all their names start with the letter J too! Their names are Jake, Jocqui, JoJo, Jurnee, and Jazz, while his name is actually Justin. His parents’ names, not surprisingly, also start with the letter J — Janet and Joel. His father is Jewish while his mother is African-American.
While some actors don’t get very lucky with their first film, Jussie’s first movie was actually a bonafide hit! The film was The Mighty Ducks, which dates back to 1995. He got to play the character of Terry. It also co-starred Joshua Jackson (Dawson’s Creek) and Emilio Estevez.
A Family Affair
Jussie also got to act with all of his siblings at one point in the ABC sitcom On Our Own, which ran from 1994 to 1995. Though it was a scripted show, Jussie’s real-life siblings all played siblings in the series.
Publically Coming Out
Though he privately came out to his family and friends when he was 19, Jussie publicly came out to the world back in March 2015 on The Ellen DeGeneres Show.
Fighting For Empire
Jussie is now best known for starring on the show Empire, which is currently on its fifth season, but he apparently had to really fight for his role. In fact, he had to audition seven times in order to get the role of Jamal Lyon.